Had a good time at the speedway today making stuff. I haven't messed around with pancakes since my late 20's so it's kinda like all new at this point. In the process of prepping for the upcoming NZ race, I got obsessed with thinkin' I needed a pinion puller so I could attempt to balance some armatures and make cleaning easier. I looked on line and nothing was available/in stock that would pull 4-gear/specialty pinions. So, of course I thought I'd just make one . I wanted it to remove the pinions on T-jet and magna traction plates also so tried to account for that.
This is the parts that wound up making it. I used the knurled nob&shaft from my wheel puller. It's 10-24 threads so used a t-nut for that. The small part of the shaft is .056" diameter and the armature shafts are .067" so figured why not. Also used a couple 1/4" stove bolts recessed into the bottom of the maple piece, nuts for spacers, and wing nuts to hold the other maple piece secure on top. Everything lined up really good and all the different plates fit like they should. I was pleased so far. I had no idea those pinion gears were that secure, wow. Or for that matter, that those plates were so flimsy . The T-jet popped right off (stout plate) but not so with the 4-gear and magna traction.
I got them all removed finally, with no visible damage to the gears. Wound up filing a thin slot in a small screwdriver that I could wedge in between the pinion and plate to stabilize it while I pushed the armature out. The hope is to use this same apparatus to press the gear back on using just a 10-24 bolt. I'll post results of that when it happens .
All in all, a fun day at the speedway . Had it's moments though.
Oh boy, next I need to make an armature balance tool .
The razor blade armature balancer has been around for a long time. That is the first one I have seen for a pancake armature. That one looks good. I have a pancake pinion puller that I bought on line. It slides under the gear and pulls it from the shaft so that the upper plate is not involved in the process. I will take a picture of it and post it.
Gale that is very simple and very cool! I bet you have all kinds of cool stuff around your house. I appreciate you sharing this stuff on the forum. Here is the "Hillbilly balancer" that I made years ago. I've always intended on streamlining it a little, but it has worked very well and I just left it alone. I use a torpedo level to level it out. It has a nice spot in my drawer that it sits in when not in use. The small puller is the one that I use to pull pinion gears with. A lot of different vendors have them and they are pretty cheap. This may be the same one Dave is talking about that he has.
Last Edit: May 18, 2018 6:34:24 GMT -7 by jjwallace
Thanks for the post, Jeff. I was going to buy one of those pinion pullers just about 4 days ago. Almost hit the paypal button and thought I'd do some research first on the web, I read articles that said they wouldn't work so hot on 4-gear/specialty chassis'. That's why I got busy and tried to make one. I took some ideas from the RT-550 T-JET GEAR REMOVAL PRESS, thinkin' that would be the hot set up. Got mine to work better though, I took a rectangular shaped xacto type blade (5/16"x1.25") that had a small rectangular hole in it, turned that into a slot so it slides between the armature and the bottom of the plate so the plate is supported over the armature hole now. The pinion presses right off now.
But jeez, I thought everything on the internet was supposed to be true .
Gale the puller works fine on the 4 gear stuff. Some people are mechanically challenged with some things. The problem is the size of the 9 tooth pinion gear. But if positioned right, it's a none issue. It can also be squeezed together slightly to close the gap. I've been using mine for several years now with no problem. I tend to frown on putting undo stress on the chassis and top plates of these cars as they do not like that. The AFX stuff is better than the AW, but they will still work harden if stressed too many times. All of this IMHO.
Here is the promised picture of the gear puller I use, very similar to Jeffs. In my opinion it should have been made a little tighter in the slot area that goes under the gear but I can still pull the small 4G gear with it. I agree with Jeff that many are mechanically challenged. There are many different types of intelligence mechanical being one of them. I have had very smart friends who had very high IQs but that only tests one area of intelligence. Some of them were very low on the mechanical IQ scale.
Good Time Speedway is going to under go some major changes. Last week when the heat wave started to hit the Northwest, our 30+ year old heat pump/furnace got extremely taxed and took a dump. My wife and I have decided that it's going to be best to get it all replaced. That involves tearing down all the race track in the basement so as the removal and install of equipment can happen. This coming week will finalize some of the details that will dictate the time schedule for said happening. Hoping to get two, maybe three weeks of access to the drag track so as to tune for Jeff's race in Texas at the end of September. It's a bit of a bummer but that's how life rolls sometimes.
Please....no sympathy's or sorry's. Just wanted to let y'all know. I should easily be up and running before 2019 and have very high hopes of it being lot's better than it was. Planning to make the road course a little smaller and make the drag track more accessible and convenient to operate. Basically going to rearrange the whole room to better facilitate my HO racing needs.
Got most of the road course track taken up and somewhat put together. Need to install the sensor track pieces and re-solder a few voltage taps. The drag track will be on the 4x8 table and start about where the drill is setting on the right. The 4x8 table will wind up going at the other end of the basement room and the remainder of the drag track will hook onto that and continue to the left. Pretty excited about this transformation and looking forward to a better overall layout.